Posted in blog stuff, Book Review

Book Review: Furyborn


(Isn’t this cover gorgeous???)

Title:  Furyborn (Empirium #1)

Author:  Claire Legrand

Publisher:  Sourcebooks Fire

Pages:  512

Genre:  Fantasy

Setting:  Empirium Fantasy World (If they name the world, country, etc., I missed it.)

Source:    I received this novel from NetGalley for my honest review

Publication Date:  May 22, 2018


When assassins ambush her best friend, the crown prince, Rielle Dardenne risks everything to save him, exposing her ability to perform all seven kinds of elemental magic. The only people who should possess this extraordinary power are a pair of prophesied queens: a queen of light and salvation and a queen of blood and destruction. To prove she is the Sun Queen, Rielle must endure seven trials to test her magic. If she fails, she will be executed…unless the trials kill her first.

A thousand years later, the legend of Queen Rielle is a mere fairy tale to bounty hunter Eliana Ferracora. When the Undying Empire conquered her kingdom, she embraced violence to keep her family alive. Now, she believes herself untouchable–until her mother vanishes without a trace, along with countless other women in their city. To find her, Eliana joins a rebel captain on a dangerous mission and discovers that the evil at the heart of the empire is more terrible than she ever imagined.

As Rielle and Eliana fight in a cosmic war that spans millennia, their stories intersect, and the shocking connections between them ultimately determine the fate of their world–and of each other.

What I Say:

I am excited to write this review. This was such a great read and it’s nice to have a positive review versus my previous one (which I’ve considered deleting, and may still do so, many times).

This story is told from the perspective of Eliana Ferracora and then, in the past, Rielle Dardenne. Both are young women trying to survive in their respective worlds but in entirely different ways.

Rielle has to prove that her powers over the elements are completely within her control and that she intends to use them only for the protection of her world. She’s forced to do this in the form of trials, one for each of the elements, where the goal only seems to kill her. All the while, trying to resist her attraction to the prince, who is already betrothed to Rielle’s best friend.

Eliana is a bounty hunter trying to earn enough money to send her mother and brother to a safer part of the world. She exchanges her own peace for violence in order to achieve her goals.

How do their lives, with Eliana living 1,000 years in the future, intertwine? The reader is brought along on both of their journies in a fast-paced story filled with magic, danger, and love. These are all themes that most are familiar with, however, Legrand writes them in a way that’s totally unique and new to the genre. And it’s fun! I really enjoyed this book and I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the series. (This is what sucks about ARCs, lol.)

My only beef with this book:  This book is labeled as young adult but I’d be surprised to see this turn up in a high school library. The amount of violence and sex sets it above young adult. Just my opinion.

4 Hearts


Posted in blog stuff, Weekly Reading

What I’m Reading Jan 24

As of today, I’ve read 12 books this month. I think I’m on a pretty good pace to meet my annual goal, especially for those occasional reading slumps that I get into throughout the year. Goodreads says that I’m eight books ahead of schedule. Woot!

Currently, I’m kinda sorta in the middle of four different reads. I say, “kinda, sorta” because two of them I haven’t touched in a couple months. Did you hear my sigh? I’m going to work from my most current read back. Click on the links to read more about the books. These are just my opinions of them so far.

The BookwormFirst up, I’m reading The Bookworm by Mitch Silver. This is a Netgalley book and I’m about 10% into it. I’m enjoying it so far. It has historical elements, mystery, and some violence to it. It’s also a little bit political, which makes me wary and we’ll see where Silver goes with that. It seems to bounce back and forth in time from 1940 to 2017 with the focus being on WWII, Nazis, and Russia. This is, according to my memory, my first book dealing with this subject matter. Where history is concerned, I tend to gravitate towards older stuff. Only being 10% into it, I haven’t formed a concrete opinion, but the character development is solid and the building of the suspenseful atmosphere is great.

The Bear and the NightingaleNext, I’m reading The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden. This is a pretty popular book and I’m sure most everyone has heard something about it. I guess I wasn’t listening close enough because I didn’t realize this was the first book in a trilogy. Normally, I love trilogies and series, but I wasn’t looking to get into a new one, especially an unfinished one. That being said, I’m probably about 10% into this one too and I like it so far. Again, the character development and atmosphere building is great. It’s also a book set in Russia (what’s up with that??) but medieval Russia this time. I’ve found the storyline and characters compelling enough that I’ve been looking up names and events mentioned to learn more about this period in Russia’s history, of which I know nothing. The fantasy elements add to the story and have kept me engrossed in the book enough that I have to make myself put it down to do other things. I love the lyrical, mystical quality to Arden’s storytelling.

I’ve mentioned these next two books in a past post and because I haven’t actually gotten any further in them since that post, I’m just going to mention the titles here. I’m stillllll reading Monstress, Vol. 1 by Marjorie M. Liu and Queens of the Conquest by Alison Weir. The reasons why I’ve stagnated on these books are that Monstress just didn’t hold my attention and I haven’t had the time and focus to devote to Queens that it deserves. I’ll get back to them both, but I’m not sure when.

What are you currently reading? What do you do when you’re really enjoying a book but have put it aside for whatever reason? Do you still consider it a “current read”?

Posted in Community

Top Ten Tuesday: Sophomore Novels

Have you ever noticed how movie sequels can be really disappointing compared to the first movie whereas, the 2nd and subsequent novels in a triology or series are as good if not better than than the first novel? Think of Ghostbusters, Speed, Jaws, Grease, any of the early Disney movies like Cinderella II, The Little Mermaid II, etc. There are series of books where the 2nd book isn’t worth reading too, I just feel like it happens more often in movies.


This week’s Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish is Top Ten Sophomore Novels That I Loved Just As Much If Not More As The Author’s Debut. As I alluded above, I’m altering this a bit to the 2nd book in a series or trilogy. My memory doesn’t work well enough to be able to compare an author’s debut novel with subsequent novels, lol. Let’s get started.

  1. Saga, Vol 2 by Brian K. Vaughan. The second volume of Saga was just as wonderful as the first. The story, the characters, the artwork, everything.
  2. Curtsies and Conspiracies by Gail Carriger. This is the second book in Carriger’s Finishing School series. I love all of Carriger’s books and series and this book was no exception.
  3. Glory in Death by J.D. Robb. I wish all the In Death books were as good as the second one. Robb’s into the 30s now, almost at book 40, and they’re losing some of their luster.
  4. Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness. I think I liked this second book in the All Souls trilogy better than I liked the first one. As for the third book, I didn’t even finish it. What a disappointment compared to the first two.
  5. Forever Odd by Dean Koontz. I’ve gone on and on about this series in the past. I love all of the Odd Thomas books.
  6. Two for the Dough by Janet Evanovich. The Stephanie Plum novels are my go-to feel good books. They always make me laugh.
  7. Dearly Devoted Dexter by Jeff Lindsay. This second novel in the Dexter series held up just as well as the first. I think this is another instance where I liked book two better than book one.
  8. Catching Fire by Suzaane Collins. Again, I liked book two better than book one. This book was more emotional than the first and being familiar with the characters, you’re more invested.
  9. The Hawk by Monica McCarty. This is the second book in McCarty’s Highland Guard series. I most definitely liked this book better than the first. The first was good, but I liked the characters and their story in The Hawk more.
  10. Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon. I love all the books in this series, but I think this second one is my favorite. I can’t say why without giving away too much to the story. Go read it for yourself if you haven’t already. 😉